Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why I Like Baseball

Switch hitter meets switch pitcher in the minor leagues.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Books

Last night we received two, count 'em two large packages from Sally had two books and I had five.

I have looked at all five of mine and have read cover to cover one so far.

First was The River Cottage Meat Book. This is a large, heavy book that is part rant about where meat comes from, treatise on the types and varieties of meat and a cookbook. The author's style is readable and the photos that accompany it are excellent. But boy is this book heavy. Looks like I'll be learning some new tricks to try out on my wife!

Second was The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. This is a straight off cookbook with little essays interspersed between the recipes. While the authors' style is easy, it isn't as informative a book as the meat book. I do trust their opionons however, because of one tidbit I read. The two authors' favourite restaurant in or near Charleston is The Wreck, which Sally and I have been to, on my sister's recommendation. So while I'm not convinced I got my money's worth with this book, I think the material contained therein is sound.

Third is The Isle of Stone: A Novel of Ancient Sparta.I just started this novel and am on page three, I think. Lately I have been on a classical kick and have been consuming historical fiction like popcorn. I think my mistake was rereading Colleen McCullough's excellent series. At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what Mr Nicastro has to say about the siege of Sphacteria and the consequent destruction of Spartan morale at home and prestige abroad. Also, it's pretty neat to see how someone is going to portray Spartan domestic life. The Spartan culture was about as alien as it possible to be to modern Western culture. He started the book with an earthquake, so it very much begins with a bang!

Fourth, is the book I finished: Genghis: Birth of an Empire. This is by one of the co-authors of the Dangerous Book For Boys. Which of course is an excellent book for boys of all ages. Genghis is about the Mongol of the same name. While I doubt it will win the Pulitzer or the Nobel, it is a well written page-turning, oh my gosh look at the time kind of book. It ends right when Genghis about to unite all of the Mongols. The next book is already out in hardcover, but will not be out in paper for another year. I may have to break down and buy the hardcover. In my opinion, Conn Igguldsen rivals C S Forester in writing action-adventure books.

Last is a book I am reading slowly: Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity. Alice Linsley had mentioned it on her blog. I've read two chapters, but this is the intertwining of the authors autobiography, with facts, dates, names and pictures with his spiritual autobiography. It is scholarly, spiritual and personal, so I think it will deserve some paced reading and reflection on my part. The first two chapters were excellent.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Harassment By The Mainstream Media

Why won't they just leave +Gene Robinson alone! All he wants to be is a simple, country bishop.

{H/T to Louie Crew for the pointer to the article. H/T to Greg Griffith for the pic}
{and how weird is it to see the two names above on the same line?}

Karl Rove is a Smart Man

In a guest column in today's Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove points out the economic ignorance of both candidates. He is a very clever man. Just once, I'd like to hear an economic proposal from a candidate that wasn't fundamentally flawed.

And it is not alright if they do not actually intend to implement the stupid proposal. If that is the case then the candidate is pandering to the idiots among us, which is a bad idea. And is lying to all of us. I know I am an idealist, but I would rather not have to decide between candidates on the basis of which one is the better and more skilled liar.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Legend Passes- RIP Cyd Charisse

She was the first woman I ever had a crush on. She had some of the most memorable dance sequences in movies of any dancer. She was 86.

Here is a lesser known one from Silk Stockings:

The Love Song of the Rev Dr Martin Dudley

I know the video is from the 90's, but it does have a 70's feel to it. George Benson recorded it first, in the late 70's.

Civilized Entertainment

Sally and I do not watch much television together. She is a tv buff, and I am more of a reader/Internet junkie. But almost every evening we watch, together, a television show we record off of the Game Show Network at some unholy hour of the morning. Like all game shows, it is total fluff. But "What's My Line' was civilized fluff. Nothing off-colour is said, the people on it, especially the panel, are pleasant, courteous and kind. After the first couple of seasons, the panel would dress up for the show, wearing evening clothes. And for all of that, it is fun.

Here is a taste of what I was discussing above. Steve Allen has just been married to Jayne Meadows. And guess who is the celebrity mystery guest?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gang tied to Episcopal Church

The New York Daily News reports that an Episcopal priest has been 'blessing' the children of members of the Latin Kings gang.

The money quote:
One son was blessed at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Morningside Heights four years ago during a quasi-religious ceremony. "It's like a christening," he said. "The priest holds the baby and we say our prayer at the same time. We have to have the window open and the baby pointed toward the sun."

The priest has been relieved of his position, but is apparently unrepentant. I've put his resume in the comments (I can not seem to be able to link to it in a reproducible way).

I have nothing to add. I'm gobsmacked.

A Sordid Affair

The trial of Charles Bennison, bishop of Pennsylvania is over. The judges have retired to their homes and a verdict should come down sometime in July, we are told. The smart money is on the bishop being deposed.

I've been thinking about the trial. I haven't posted much about it other than the usual snarky comments, but over at Chris Johnson's blog Perpetua asked why a trial? Here are my thoughts.

If they depose Chuck, then when they go after +Duncan they will have accomplished much to set the stage.

First, as we all know depositions of bishop by trial have been rare. So to go after +Duncan after this sordid affair means that they can spin it to the press and the pew potatoes as going after another 'bad egg' and that all they are doing is 'cleaning house'

Second, and most of y'all will disagree with me on this, but Chuck's role in all this was over thirty years ago. John is the true culprit here. But they are attacking Chuck with John's evil. On first blush, it shouldn't be necessary. Chuck has run a diocese into the ground, whether through active fraud or gross negligence, it really doesn't matter. Pennsylvania is missing a whole bunch of dough that they had before Chuck became bishop. Losing money is just about the only sin the Episcopal Church recognizes anymore, but it isn't sensational, and it won't get folks energized. So, they stress the sex and hope to impugn subsequent defendants with the same sort of depravity. It's guilt by association.

Third, no one really likes Charles Bennison. He was rector here in Atlanta and his legacy was division. I doubt he has changed since. He also has a reputation as a loose cannon. With a much more important trial looming, a loose canon (mispelling intentional) is the last thing the party faithful want. Going after Chuck really won't hurt 815's voting strength.

Fourth, it sends a message to any waverers. Fall into line or we will go as far back as we have to and dig up the dirt against you. We will hold you culpable for any wrongs you may have committed, no matter how ancient.

The main point is number one. We convicted a sleazoid. He was the first bishop convicted of anything for quite a while. Therefore anyone who gets convicted is obviously a sleazoid.

The problem is that all the evidence weighs against John. Chuck behaved as an ambitious priest would. He is slimy, but I don't think that what he did, given when it happened, amounts to anything he ought to be deposed for. Because of all things he is accused of, which of them occurred when he was bishop?

If we are to hold men accountable for the entirety of their lives, what should we make of St. Augustine? He was largely blameless as a bishop, but was not before he became one. For the record, I do not believe that Charles Bennison is fit to tie the shoes of St. Augustine, but what specifically did he do as a bishop to deserve this? And of those acts, what evidence of the same was presented at trial?

And finally, isn't it convenient that all of the hierarchy involved, with the exception of Charles Bennison, are dead or retired?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dear Mr. Siddiqui

The more I read Kathy Shaidle, the more I appreciate her.

Harry Enfield

He's faded off the scene a bit, but in his prime, Harry Enfield was without peer.

Unfortunately, heeding this video wouldn't have done Britain any good. The Conservatives are just as bad in expanding authoritarianism.

But we can all learn something from this one.

Freedom vs Security

Read this editorial. Reflect upon it. Then understand that if you favour any of the changes made in Britain mentioned in it, you and I are enemies. Further, if these are the sorts of things that you favour, you are what Aristotle described when he said some men are born to be slaves.

You would have been thought mad 20 years ago to have predicted that it would be a crime for people to smoke on an open-air railway station in the middle of the countryside, smack their children on the leg, hunt foxes, own a donkey without possessing ID for the animal, recite a poem without a licence, possess a.22 calibre air pistol for sporting purposes, engage in teenage canoodling, or set off a firework after 11pm.


Twenty years ago you would also have been regarded as barmy if you had said innocent people would have their DNA held on a database for criminals; or that there would be one CCTV camera for every 14 people; or that children would be fingerprinted and their records held, as though they were all potential victims of abuse; or that it would be unlawful to stage a silent, one-person protest within one kilometre of the Palace of Westminster without permission from the police; or that trials would be held without juries; or that microchips would be placed in our dustbins; or that there would be 266 separate provisions granting power to enter homes without permission, a symptom of the expanding role of the state in the lives of citizens.

If you wish to be secure, to lock your timid self into a police state, feel free. Start a subdivision where surveillance is omnipresent. Have security guards that you and your spineless neighbours pay for patrol the streets. Fingerprint and record the DNA of your hapless offspring.

Just do not try to take me with you. Unlike you, I value my freedom more than my life. I will use every legal means I know, and I know how to play politics, to fight you to the bitter end. And ask yourself, if you have any imagination at all, is a life like that ever worth living? Is the relentless pursuit of safety an activity worth doing?

For further reading, check out this.

Parting epigram: "In a world of wolves and sheep, I would rather live as a man."